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PIA Press Release

La Union steps up drive vs TB

By Jessie R. Valdez

San Fernando City, La Union (5 September) -- In line with the government's bid to reduce the national incidence of tuberculosis (TB) and TB-related morbidity and mortality, the Health Office of San Fernando City in La Union stepped up its public awareness campaign via tri-media, simultaneously with other activities under the National TB Control Program (NTP).

Dr. Eduardo S. Posadas, City Chief Health Officer said, an sputum exam was undertaken recently to 1,902 persons from specialized groups that included tricycle drivers, teachers from the public school, inmates from the city and provincial jails, garbage collectors, street sweepers and public utility workers.

Out of the 1,902 clients examined, only 10 TB cases were detected and treated, Posadas added.

Posadas expects that with the City Health Office's higher TB control budget of Php750,000.00 this year from P570,000 last year, their office could procure more anti-TB drugs and provide other laboratory expenses for TB patients.

Based on the San Fernando CHO report on the implementation of the National Tuberculosis Control Program (NTCP) the program has achieved a cure rate (CR) of 100% in 2005. However, it decreased to 98% in 2006 because of a treatment failure of one patient, and a death of another one, plus the transferred out of still another patient. Its case detection rate (CDR) also decreased from 102.38% in 2005 to 97.4% last year as more TB patients were discovered to be under Regimen III or with smear negative sputum with active PTB chest x-ray result. These patients were all treated as classified by the TB Diagnostic Committee (TBDC), Posadas explained.

However, Posadas added that their case detection rate and cure rate are still above the national standard of 70% CDR and *%% CR.

Further, Dr. Godofredo Rilloraza, Asst. City Health Office Chief said that under the Public-Private Mix DOTS (PPMD), the CHO achieved 100% of the target during the first two quarters of last year and even over shooted it to 260 percent in the third quarter as the number of referring physicians all over the province have increased.

In their Tuberculosis Diagnostic Committee (TBDC) report of 2006, Rilloraza explained that the number of chest XR plates evaluated had increased from 306 to 950 patients. Some 771 patients came from other municipalities while 179 patients came from San Fernando. All active PTB and inactive category patients were treated as recommended by the TBDC and their treatment partners were advised to monitor the compliance of each patient. They are also advised to comply strictly with their follow-up schedule for sputum exam. A total number of 255 patients were treated and served 2,304 in the city under the NTP, last year.

Meanwhile, the Arroyo Government is doubling its tuberculosis (TB) control budget to Php280 million next year, to combat the disease as according to the World Health Organization (WHO) ; the Philippines ranks fourth among the countries worldwide with the most number of tuberculosis cases. (PIA LU) [top]

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